30 Jul

Maureen Johnson presents a whirlwind of a duo in 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope.  Main character Ginny Blackstone has no idea what direction her life is going in.  Her favorite Aunt Peg dies and leaves a sort of puzzle for Ginny.  She receives 13 envelopes and the challenge to follow the directions contained in each.  It is a quest of sorts which takes her to Europe where she crisscrosses countries, meets people good and bad, and more important, finds herself.  As the first book ends, the last envelope is stolen and she returns home.  The second book takes up with Ginny trying to write her college entrance essay, an experience many seniors can identify with.  She reflects on the adventures of the past, her Aunt Peg and the loss of the last piece of the puzzle, the envelope.  Someone finds the envelope, demands money from the sale of one of Aunt Peg’s paintings and to follow her on the last adventure.  Ginny meets people from her last adventure and the new mystery man who has the envelope.  The fast pace of the novels is appropriate and the reader feels as rushed as the main character.  I liked the characters and felt Johnson found a fresh story to tell.  The reader becomes vested in Ginny’s story and there is satisfaction in the end, although it doesn’t end quite as I predicted.